Nevada State Public Defender
The Department of Indigent Defense Services is accepting applicants for a gubernatorial appointment to the position of the:
NEVADA STATE PUBLIC DEFENDER
The position is the head of the Office of the Nevada State Public Defender (“NSPD”).
The NSPD is the state agency responsible for providing legal representation and other services to people accused or convicted of a crime who cannot afford to hire an attorney in Nevada’s rural counties. All Nevada counties with a population of under 100,000 people may “opt in” to the services of NSPD. NSPD operates under the authority in Chapter 180 of the Nevada Revised Statutes to provide zealous indigent defense services in criminal cases and related matters by appointment from the courts. NSPD’s principal office is located in Carson City, Nevada and currently oversees indigent defense services in two counties, Carson City and Storey County. The Office has a staff of six attorneys, two investigators, and administrative staff. The Office has the potential to serve additional rural counties that “opt in” to its representational services.
The next head of the NSPD will have the opportunity to lead their team into a new era of indigent defense, which will include the following opportunities and challenges:
Leading Change: Provide Leadership & Vision for the Future
The new Public Defender will lead the NSPD into a new era, reimagining and redefining the office and its impact on the field of indigent defense across rural Nevada.
The new Public Defender will create a modern vision for the office and develop a sophisticated approach to implementing that vision. They will identify new policy needs and create opportunities for the improvement of indigent defense services throughout the rural counties. In partnership with the Department of Indigent Defense Services, the Public Defender will plan, assess, and map the future of the NSPD, including working to build growing access to holistic defense services, including social workers, investigators, and mitigation specialists.
Leading People: Build a Collaborative Team Culture
The new Public Defender will lead and nurture a talented and deeply committed staff and manage an operating budget of $1.5 million. They will create a sophisticated and clear framework for aligning the office’s vision for the future with daily operations, including planning and implementing effective team structures in rural counties. The new leader will also embody and support the development of a culture that values innovation, equity, transparency, clear communication, and trust with its internal leadership. These measures will be designed to create a sustainable and effective environment that attracts and retains qualified and diverse talent.
Leading Partnership Development
The new Public Defender, in collaboration with the Department, will build new and stronger relationships with rural counties, including county leadership. They will also maintain and nurture a relationship with the UNLV Boyd School of Law to create a pipeline of ambitious law students who are ready and prepared to enter the rural practice of indigent defense.
THE CORE RESPONSIBILITIES
This is an unclassified position, appointed for a term of 4 years by the Governor of the State of Nevada and responsible to and serves at the pleasure of the Executive Director of the Department of Indigent Defense Services.
The new Public Defender is responsible for the overall effectiveness of the office. Duties include supervising legal work; mentoring and overseeing the career development of staff; planning and priority setting; grant compliance; budget management; and maintaining good relations within the office and with community stakeholders and the private bar. The Public Defender also typically carries a small caseload and, in that respect, has all of the duties of a staff attorney.